Climate & Environment
Germany: Hamburg introduces solar obligation for new buildings
Representative image of solar panels
Representative image of solar panels Credit: / MICHAEL WILSON

New electricity from Hamburg's roofs: Hamburg will be the first German state to introduce mandatory photovoltaics from 2023. Starting in two years, corresponding systems must be installed on new buildings or roofs that are being fundamentally renovated. The generated solar power is expected to save over 60,000 tons of CO2 by 2030.

Lifestyle • Food
German chocolate producer Milka shrinks Santa Claus candy but increases price
Milka's Santa Claus candy
Milka's Santa Claus candy Credit: Milka, Screenshot

The chocolate Santa Claus candies of the German chocolate producer Milka have become smaller this year - but more expensive, reports the consumer center Hamburg after having taken samples in eight supermarkets. Instead of 50 and 100 grams, the hollow figures of the flavour Milka alpine milk weigh only 45 and/or 90 grams instead. In addition, the price has increased as the 45-gram Santa Claus now costs 1.19 euros. In the previous year, it was retailed at 99 cents for the figure with five-gram more mass.

According to a statement of the consumer center, it is also harder to detect the size decrease. Due to a flap with a folded edge, the two shrunken Santa Clauses appear even larger.

Science • Physics & Engineering
Ballast stones store energy in the port of Hamburg
Ballast stones store energy in the port of Hamburg
Credit: Courtesy of Siemens

In the Port of Hamburg, ballast stones with electrothermal energy storage systems can store renewable energy from wind or sun in the form of heat. The project, in which Siemens Gamesa and the Technical University of Hamburg, among others, have been involved since June 2019, is called ETES. ETES stands for Electro-Thermal Energy Storage and could be used in the future to become independent of weather conditions. This would make it possible to draw on the energy generated even when the sky is overcast or there is no wind.

Attempted break-in in Sparkasse Hamburg

On Saturday evening, a cleaner in a Hamburg Sparkasse branch informed the private security service after noticing something inexplicable.

Alarmed police officers were able to secure an industrial drill in the basement of the bank, with which the unknown perpetrators had apparently tried to drill open the safe.

There are currently no references to the perpetrators.

Business • Innovation & Sustainability
Cruise ships in Hamburg are allowed to donate food
Cruise ships in Hamburg are allowed to donate food
Credit: / Peter Hansen

The state of Hamburg decided that cruise ships may now donate their leftover food to the Hamburger Tafel. For customs and import law reasons, cruise ships were not allowed to donate food until now, as cruise ships are legally considered "third countries".

While surplus food had to be disposed of in the past, it is now possible both to reduce food waste and to support the distribution of food to those in need.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
26-year old student attacked in front of Hamburg synagogue
26-year old student attacked in front of Hamburg synagogue
Credit: Catrin / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

During the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles on Sunday afternoon, a 29-year-old man dressed in army-like clothing had attacked a 26-year-old man who was about to enter the grounds of the Hohe Weide Synagogue in the Hamburg district of Eimsbüttel.

The police and general public prosecutor's office are investigating the man for attempted murder in a crime with dangerous bodily harm. They assume that the suspect has an anti-semitic motive.

In the trouser pocket of the suspect, a note with a hand-drawn swastika had been found after he had been caught following the attack.

Business • Consumer & Service
H&M fined €35.3 million in Germany for spying on employees
H&M fined €35.3 million in Germany for spying on employees
Credit: / Fernand De Canne

Hamburg’s data protection commissioner has stated that H&M in Nuremberg had collected private information about employees including family issues and religious beliefs. The data had been collected on a network drive and had been accessible for up to 50 managers. The incident got public when the data had been briefly visible for all people on the network.

H&M has been fined €35.3 million and the company stated that the practices uncovered in Nuremberg did not align with the guidelines of the company.

German police charges family of 13-year old student €45,000 for fake amok call
German police charges family of 13-year old student €45,000 for fake amok call
Credit: Polizei Hamburg / Courtesy of Twitter

After a then 13-year-old student from Hamburg called in an attack by cell phone to a school, the police responded with a massive operation to evacuate the school and surrounding area. The police now charged the parents for the costs of the operation that resulted from the fake threat.

The police stated that "We are legally obliged to charge the costs of the operation and have sent the person responsible for the operation a bill for 45,000 euros".

According to the police, however, the student does not have to fear any consequences under criminals he is not yet of criminal age.

UKE Hamburg: Proceedings against the doctor and security forces discontinued
UKE Hamburg: Proceedings against the doctor and security forces discontinued
Credit: Pauli-Pirat (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The investigations into the death of a 34-year-old Cameroonian in April 2019 on the premises of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) have led to the result that the measures initiated were justified by self-defense and emergency aid.

As a consequence the accusation of bodily harm resulting in death against a doctor and three security guards has been dropped by the public prosecutor.

The Cameroonian died after being restrained to take medication. According to the prosecutor's office, the cause of death has been a previous heart disease.

Science • Nature
Survey: Women in large German cities face threats and harassment
Survey: Women in large German cities face threats and harassment
Credit: / Markus Spiske

According to a survey by the children's aid organization "Plan" among 1,000 respondents between 16 and 71 years of age, the fear of harassment, threats, and insults is great. Big cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne or Munich stand out here. One in five respondents stated in the survey that they had been the victim of a crime such as insults, threats or harassment. Girls and women feel most unsafe on the open street, followed directly by public transport and parks.

Germany police seizes 1,5 tonnes of cocaine worth €300 million
Germany police seizes 1,5 tonnes of cocaine worth €300 million
Credit: Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Hamburg, Hafen -- 2016 -- 3090” (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Police and customs officers at the Port of Hamburg have seized around 1,5 tonnes of cocaine. The illegal substance was hidden in a cargo container between bags of rice.

The illegal cargo has been found and seized in June already when the container was scanned at the customs office Waltershof and was scheduled to be transferred to a different ship to Poland. The rice on the container ship came from Guyana in South America.

According to estimates, the seized cocaine has a street worth of about €300 million.

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Sex workers in Hamburg demonstrate for re-opening of business
Herbertstraße, Hamburg
Herbertstraße, Hamburg Credit: (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the brothels in the Herbertstraße, which is part of the red light area of Hamburg's St. Pauli district, have been forced to close. The ban hasn't been lifted so far, and sex workers have now demonstrated for a re-opening. While prostitution is legal in Germany, the Association of Sex Workers has stated that the forced closure of the licensed establishments forces some sex workers into illegal work on the streets, adding that this is far more dangerous and unhygienic.

The association stated that "Prostitution does not carry a greater risk of infection than other close-to-body services, like massages, cosmetics or even dancing or contact sports" and organised a protest on Saturday evening.

Hamburg: Large-scale deployment of security services, police and fire brigade

After being warned of a burglary by a security service in Hamburg-Billbrook, the police searched for a fleeing perpetrator.

After an hour of search, the perpetrator was found hidden in a canal by the fire department and arrested by the police. The emergency serviced then treated the suspect for hypothermia. The police stated that they had an open warrant on the suspect in addition to the attempted burglary.

Business • Economy
Security service for ex-AfD professor Lucke costs 124,000€

The University Hamburg had to spend 124,000€ to secure the lectures of Bernd Lucke during the winter semester of 2019/2020. Reasons for this measures were protests against the founder and former leader of the right-wing party AfD. Lucke had left the party in 2015.